Candidates’ Blueprints for Easing the Housing Crisis

Even before the pandemic, about half of the city’s households spent more than 30 percent of their income on rent, according to an analysis by New York University’s Furman Center.

The pandemic has made the situation even more dire. Renters’ arrears have risen to hundreds of millions of dollars, putting them at risk of losing their homes once a moratorium on evictions ends.

Housing advocates and experts have pushed for the candidates to adopt robust plans to address the crisis.

The candidates’ plans overlap in many ways: nearly every candidate expressed support for legalizing basement apartments, which the city has already begun to explore, and building housing on the remaining parcels of vacant city-owned land.

But they also differ in some of the solutions they emphasize.

Kathryn Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner, and Raymond J. McGuire, a former Wall Street executive, have made the creation of tens of thousands of new homes for the poorest New Yorkers a top objective. Maya Wiley, a civil rights lawyer and former counsel to Mr. de Blasio, and Shaun Donovan, who was housing secretary under President Barack Obama and also has served as a city housing commissioner, say they would steer hundreds of millions of dollars to struggling renters.

Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, is calling for a hefty increase in the number of affordable units the city requires in big new residential buildings. Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, wants wealthy neighborhoods to make way for more affordable units. Andrew Yang, a former presidential candidate, and Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit executive, have keyed in on converting hotels to housing.

More on the mayor’s race:

Early Voting Begins in Wide-Open Race for New York Mayor

Garcia Rakes in Donations: 5 Takeaways From the N.Y.C. Mayor’s Race


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